Colorado Native Plant Society Board Meeting Minutes

Location: Denver, CO.
Regis University Library, Tracy Center
Date: April 20, 2013 Time: 9:10 a.m. – 12:07 p.m.

Call to order: Crystal Strouse, President


Jeanne Willson, Mo Ewing, Linda Smith, Jan Turner, Charlie Turner, Steve Yarbrough, Crystal Strouse, Brian Kurzel, Linda Hellow, Megan Bowes, Steve Popovich, Bernadette Kuhn, Denise Wilson and Stacey Anderson.
Those attending by phone: Stephen Stern, Ed Roland, Nanette Kuich, and Bob Powell.

Chapter Reports:

Boulder Chapter – no report

Metro Denver Chapter– Janette Wesley/Jeanne Willson: Meeting place – Still trying to find a new place for meetings.  Would like DBG, but they require 50% of membership to be members of DBG also, and we can’t do this because of our privacy policy.  An alternative is to get a signed waiver from each Denver member who is also a member of DBG.

Northern Chapter  – report was given by Stacey Anderson, VP.  Connie Gray is the new
president; field trips have been arranged for the summer.

Plateau Chapter  – Dr. Stephen Stern – 1st meeting botanical nomenclature talk; folks helping with BioBlitz and doing some rare plant monitoring and local field trips and see; one workshop offered, but it was on Easter and didn’t have enough people, also he happened to have a baby that day!

South East Chapter  – Ed Roland – have about 9 field trips; Grass ID Fieldtrip instead of Workshop with location announced; trying to build more flexibility into the schedule because of drought issues.

Gore Range Chapter  – Nanette Kuich – Sagebrush and Willow Workshops well attended;
Fieldtrip for higher elevation species.

Committee Reports:

Conservation  – Mo Ewing – he has given several presentations for Mt Summit; next one to DBG workers at Goliath; one more at CU Boulder for a Geography class.  He is starting process of reviewing Federal plans and keying in on EIS for development in the Pawnee Grasslands.  He would like to use that as a way of educating member s about what is happening in the oil and gas industry.

Education/Outreach  – Jim Tolstrup – did not attend

Field Studies  – Steve Popovich Horticulture/Restoration –  Possible Field Studies planned – Steve Olson on Grasslands, Coral Bluffs Alliance –east of  Colorado Springs; no dates yet. Megan Bowes – can not attend National Wildlife Federation event.

Media  – Jan Turner – editor of Aquilegia has a new illustrator, Rob Pudim.  Need ideas and articles are needed and appreciated at any time.  We are on schedule and she will accept items for edition to be published May 15th.  .  Annual Mtg issue is next; deadline to be announced. Weber issue is complete but Bob Henry is holding off because he is uncomfortable about a particular article, and still needs to decide whether to publish the edition with the article.

Membership  – Linda Smith – We have 750-800 members.

Research Grants  – Jan Turner –It just gets better every year, now there are so many high quality applicants.  Listing of Marr Grants awarded – Mari Majeck: $1,118, The distribution of Potamogetonaceae in Colorado. University of Colorado, Denver (Leo Bruederle, MS Student). Will Petry: $1,245, Mechanisms of climate-induced population change in tobacco root (Valeriana edulis) and their use for identifying effective management strategies. University of California, Irvine. (Kailen Mooney, PhD student).

Steinkamp Grants awarded – Southern Plains Land Trust: $1,000, Colorado Green Gentian survey & conservation assessment, Dan Fosha- Pikes Peak Community College & Nicole Rosmarino, Director, SPLT.  Steve Leavitt: $1,000, Fragile communities: Assessing the impact of climate change on lichen communities in Colorado’s alpine tundra. Brigham Young University (cooperators, Larry St. Clair and Soili Stenroos).

Sales  – Linda Smith – just received copies for sale of new book from Denise Culver, “Field Guide to Colorado’s Wetland Plants”, $39.95; we must purchase it at retail so won’t make money on it.

Workshops  – Linda Hellow –Mosses workshop with 16 people attended.  Coming workshops are: Megan Bowes on Pollination; Draba in July.  Those desired, but for which we need teachers: Ethics of Collecting Workshop; Front Range Ecology;  Wetland Plants. New workshops that have yet to be scheduled: Intro to Polygonaceae Family with Rich Scully; Intro to Sedges with Denise Culver and Pam Smith; Intro to Asteraceae with Lindsey Brandt; Plant Collecting with Steve Popovich and others. Other workshop topics I’m work ing on: Front Range Ecology; Wetland Plants; Revegetation/Reclamation topic; Lichens; Soils/Geology; Oxytropis or Astragalus; Penstemons; and Weeds.

Financial  – Mo Ewing – He tries to build in a 3% increase in  budget over the last year.  Our net profit is because we have revenue from workshops.   The expenses for the Northern Chapter are a little over budget already. We are ahead of schedule on membership.  General expenses are under and income is over so we have a projected $742 net.

Endowment is up; on the Balance Sheet it shows we have $11,000 operating funds sitting in endowment and $12,000 in the bank, but this does not include Marr and Steinkamp funds of approximately $4400 to be disbursed.  We have cash to make some grant requests, what Crystal is calling Mission Grants.

Old Business:

Funding cycles  – Crystal – called them “Mission Grants” Jenny recommended “Eligibility”.  Suggestion was made to get rid of durable supplies (like bench); will be taken out.  We discussed a vote on amount of money with two funding cycles, and proposed Mar 1st and Aug 1st to be considered.  We need a committee with a chair.  Discussion included: How do we make this public?  Do we want to define the percentage of surplus?  Or, leave it to Mo to make a recommendation? Mo responded with $25000 is more than what we need in operating funds. Suggestion of 3% at year end funds grants.  Megan moved 1) fund Mission Grants, 2) accept applications twice per year with 3/1 and 8/1 as deadlines. Bernadette seconded; motion passed.  Brian would like to see formalized document clarifying for longevity, so there will be a clear intent going forward into the future.  Mo volunteered to do this.  Crystal will outline it with Mo writing the internal procedure for the financial aspect.  Crystal will write Aquilegia announcement.  Don Hazlette may possibly chair.

New Board Members for 2013 – Bernadette – received all ballots and tallied them; Leo Bruederle accepted another volunteer commitment, so he will not be on the Board.  Filling 4 positions Betsy Harbor, Andrea Cummins, Steve Olson, and Lynne Rubright to start in Nov.

Ethics document  – Megan and Steve- Charlie suggested a workshop or formal training if training is required, but it is difficult to hold in enough places for people to attend.  Steve P suggested taking the training out of the Ethics document to move forward.  Ed is it appropriate for field trips, and dissecting a plant which has to be collected to  be taught?  Crystal – this is at discretion of the landowner.  USFS and BLM sometimes do not need a permit, but what about when they do?  Steve – this is an awareness exercise of the suite of ownership, identification, permits; the process – suggests a refresher course as a responsibility as a leader.  Ed – can this be done with a document or an on-line course, or website; not going to travel to the workshops.  Brian – leaders can know how and where but representing CoNPS means contacting landowners and having appropriate permits.  Crystal – this is an accountability mechanism.

Mo moved pull paragraph 8 and approve the Ethics of Collecting document.  More discussion  ensued. Use signed form; can be a web based form and education.  Ed – Put it all in one place and have people sign off on a letter of agreement. Mo – we can approve the overall policy and then comes the process of implementation.  Ed – has May 14th and June workshops and need immediately – real world concerns which plant can you pick? Mo withdraws motion.  Charlie motion edit point #8 “Members can satisfy the requirements by taking the “CoNPS Training Ethics & Collecting” posted on the webpage, and accept the new ethics policy”.  This document was not voted on at this meeting.

Steve will develop the program based upon Jill and Jenny’s workshop(s).  This requirement to sign document and take course will be effective when training is available.  Megan will forward to the Board the Ethics documents from Alberta.  Steve excuse #8 until training becomes available with the target of June 1st.  Ed will send guidelines.  Brian – suggests a 30 minute training at the annual meeting.

Ethics, Restricted Funds and other pertinent IRS regulations  – Denise Wilson
Bob moved that CoNPS review pertinent policies according to IRS and Denise send them out to the Board members prior to the Nov Board meeting; Mo seconded, and the motion passed.  Megan and Ed will review the options and help to decide which are appropriate for CoNPS, and Denise will write up the pertinent policies for submission to the Board.

Language for poll on how members feel about conservation and CoNPS role – Brian Kurzel explained the three aspects of our mission, “Appreciation of native plants through education, stewardship and advocacy.”  Education we already do well. Stewardship element is getting dirty.
Advocacy is influencing policies as they affect native plants on public lands.  Denise – what are the IRS boundaries around “educational non-profit” vs. “political non-profit”?  She needs to do more research on the language and distinctions.  Steve –  are you really going to make a difference?  We don’t have the capacity and we need to think through all of these issues.  Bob – inform members and get ideas and make our positions known.

Ed – we could do more than what we’ve done –step up conservation work with land managers; make our membership aware of the issues.  Brian – proposed an article in Aquilegia 1) reminds us of our mission, 2) talks about some of the need for conservation –lay out the picture, point to the things we have already done, 3) define the concepts, 4) sending you a survey that asks you to weigh in – what it would look like.  Brian will write for the annual meeting an article about the issues. Ed- let’s play with our strengths – members can provide more information as a conduit and make us more significant.  Steve – NEPA process is too short to get members adequately informed and involved– needs to be decentralized with one statewide coordinator.  Brian – a later question to members: “Would you be willing to increase your financial support?”  Mo would be happy to give a talk at Annual Meeting.

Gifts and Awards for annual meeting – Crystal talked to Mo in regards to the guidelines; Mo
doesn’t like giving out lifetime memberships.  Budget $400 with flexibility.  Bernadette moved CoNPS give 2 awards at the annual meeting, Charlie seconded; passed.  Jan looked up 2002 guidelines for awards, and they are specific in nature; e-mail page to Crystal & she will write it up Workshop cancellation language – Linda Hellow. Ed – contact president before scheduling workshop.  Crystal moved, Mo 2nd; passed new cancellation language.

Letter of Agreement for presenters and leaders  – Linda Hellow – can we set-up electronic signature on web for the Ethics Course?  Hold off until course gets developed. Write up on advocacy – Steve Popovich – on pros and cons Brian will draft

New Business:

New Editor announcement – Crystal –Jan Turner new, thanks to Bob Henry

Adopt a Rare Plant Funding– Bernadette –is this a Mission Proposal or is it different because we
are a partner? Steve – isn’t data entry the CNHP’s program’s main responsibility, and their income producing source? Why are these funds needed, and what is being funded?  Mo and Steve fear the funding request may be seen as recurring.  Adopt-a-Rare-Plant Program has been a success and has trained and activated many volunteers and now there is a backlog of data entry.  The job is for an intern and involves 6 hrs training for GIS, 60 hours of input and must happen at the office in Ft Collins.  Megan – What did we document when we first entered this partnership?  Some have a problem with an annual funding.  We have to pay $150 for an Element Occurrence Record. Bernadette will look at minutes and we will continue discussion after Bernadette researches this.

Janet Wingate Sedge Book Funding – needs to sign up for Mission Grant.

Fundraising for Mt. Evans – Mo – sent out proposal, but it did not make it around.

Annual Meeting – dates, theme is Global Climate Change and dates are Sept 27th through Sept 29th

Adjourned meeting at 12:07 pm.